Survival from synchronous bilateral breast cancer: The experience of surgeons participating in the breast audit of the society of breast surgeons of Australia and New Zealand

David Roder, Primali De Silva, Helen Zorbas, James Kollias, Peter Malycha, Chris Pyke, Ian Campbell, Fleur Webster

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous studies generally indicate that synchronous bilateral breast cancers (SBBC) have an equivalent or moderately poorer survival compared with unilateral cases. The prognostic characteristics of SBBC would be relevant when planning adjuvant therapies and follow-up medical surveillance. The frequency of SBBC among early breast cancers in clinical settings in Australia and New Zealand was investigated, plus their prognostic significance, using the Breast Cancer Audit Database of the Society of Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand, which covered an estimated 60% of early invasive lesions in those countries. Design: Rate ratios (95% confidence limits) of SBBC were investigated among 35,370 female breast cancer cases by age of woman, histology type, grade, tumour diameter, nodal status, lymphatic/vascular invasion and oestrogen receptor status. Univariate and multivariable disease-specific survival analyses were undertaken. Results: 2.3% of cases were found to be SBBC (i.e., diagnoses occurring within 3 months). The figure increased from 1.4% in women less than 40 years to 4.1% in those aged 80 years or more. Disease-specific survivals did not vary by SBBC status (p=0.206). After adjusting for age, histology type, diameter, grade, nodal status, lymphatic/vascular invasion, and oestrogen receptor status, the relative risk of breast cancer death for SBBC was 1.17 (95% CL: 0.91, 1.51). After adjusting for favourable prognostic factors more common in SBBC cases (i.e., histology type, grade, lymphatic/ vascular invasion, and oestrogen receptor status), the relative risk of breast cancer death for SBBC was 1.42 (95% CL: 1.10, 1.82). After adjusting for unfavourable prognostic factors more common in SBBC cases (i.e., older age and large tumour diameter), the relative risk of breast cancer death for SBBC was 0.98 (95% CL: 0.76, 1.26). Conclusions: Results confirm previous findings of an equivalent or moderately poorer survival for SBBC but indicate that SBBC status is likely to be an important prognostic indicator for some cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1413-1418
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • New zealand
  • Prognosis survival
  • Synchronous bilateral breast cancer prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cancer Research

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